A quick walk down a toothpaste aisle can reveal a plethora of electric toothbrush options. While electric toothbrushes may not be essential to brush your teeth, they can provide some important benefits that manual toothbrushes do not offer.
Power Toothbrushes vs. Manual Brushing
Power toothbrushes, or electric toothbrushes, have been around for over 80 years. They are often recommended by dentists and other dental professionals because they have been linked to superior cleaning and improved oral health.
How do electric brushes differ from standard, manual brushes?
The most significant difference between a manual and an electric toothbrush is the power behind the brush in question. Electric toothbrushes usually have vibrating or rotating heads, which may provide a more thorough clean on the surface of teeth and gums.
4 Benefits of a Power Toothbrush
Power toothbrushes are recommended by dental professionals with good reason: electric toothbrushes provide many benefits that manual toothbrushes cannot quite match. These include proper timing, appropriate pressure, better cleaning, and improved gum health.
Most electric toothbrushes come equipped with an automatic timer, which ensures that you brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, in line with standard dental recommendations. The amount of time you brush does not definitively determine how effective your brushing is, but most dentists agree that at least two minutes are necessary to support dental health.
Although not all electric toothbrushes come equipped with pressure sensors, many recent iterations of electric toothbrushes include a sensor that alerts you if you are placing too much pressure on your teeth. Putting too much pressure on your teeth can result in damaged enamel, which can lead to increased sensitivity, an increased risk of cavities, and a subsequent need for fillings.
A More Thorough Clean
Electric toothbrushes have been proven to provide a more thorough clean than manual toothbrushes. Oral hygiene is highly dependent on effective brushing habits, including the thorough removal of plaque. Power toothbrushes can improve your dental health by removing plaque in greater quantities and allowing toothpaste and brush bristles to reach more of the tooth.
Improved Gum Health
Gums can also benefit from electric toothbrushes. Removing plaque is an important part of maintaining your gums and staving off bad breath, and electric toothbrushes have been proven to remove more plaque than standard manual brushes. Brushing and flossing prevent gum disease, and although electric toothbrushes do not eliminate the requirement to floss, they can ease some of the burden by more effectively removing plaque.
Although the aforementioned benefits of a power toothbrush cannot be understated, there are additional considerations to take into account when considering a power toothbrush. Power toothbrushes are recommended for general cleaning needs but may be particularly effective for people with special dental or physical needs.
Age and Dexterity
Children and adults of advanced age do not typically possess the same degree of dexterity that teenagers and adults do. The power behind electric toothbrushes can help bridge the gap for the young and old who may not have adequate dexterity to effectively clean teeth and gums. Children may also benefit from the timers typically included in electric toothbrushes.
Braces and other orthodontic appliances can make effectively cleaning your teeth extremely difficult. Electric toothbrushes’ unique brush head design and strength may be able to get behind the wires and brackets used in orthodontia, in order to provide a more thorough clean. For many, dental hygiene suffers for the duration of orthodontic treatment. Electric toothbrushes can eliminate those concerns.
People with special needs may not have the arm strength, dexterity, or cognitive ability to adequately brush teeth or brush teeth for the proper amount of time. Electric toothbrushes can be incredible tools for people with all kinds of special needs. Most are designed to be quieter than the brushes of even 10 years ago, and may not be a problem for individuals with extreme sensory sensitivities.
Should You Use a Powered Toothbrush?
Power toothbrushes are not strictly necessary to successfully clean your teeth, but they can certainly help. If you struggle to brush appropriately, for the recommended amount of time, and with the appropriate amount of pressure, an electric toothbrush can be an invaluable tool for your oral health.